Apparently our friends on the right are currently worked up over the menace of union goons and their rampaging incivility. The case in point involves the protestors who surrounded FNC reporter Mike Tobin, chanting "Fox News Lies!" Headlines across Right Blogistan proclaim that he was "punched" in the course of attempting to provide fair and balanced coverage.
As Tobin put it, "I got punched in the arm, it didn’t even leave a bruise. I don’t want to make too big a deal about it, but it did cross the line.” Not everyone, though, is reticent about making a big deal out of it. David Limbaugh, brother of talk radio's reigning king of civility, agonizes thusly:
Where are the leftist media to call out the thugs who assaulted Fox News national reporter Mike Tobin in Madison on Saturday night? Where are their reports about the alleged involvement of international socialists in similar protests, such as the rallies to "save the American dream"? Why didn't they report on the calls by union thugs for blood in the streets? And where are their fair and balanced reports that even after Gov. Scott Walker's proposed cuts, the Wisconsin state workers would do much better than private-sector and even federal workers?
Limbaugh also goes on to accuse the Left of planting racist signs at Tea Party rallies. What's next, curbstomping? Still...
Regarding point one, punching anybody, for any reason, has no place in our political discourse. Not only that, but shouting people down - no matter how much their network serves as a conduit for corporate lies - is unlikely to win you any converts. The actions of the people in that crowd were contemptible, and both unworthy and unrepresentative of the larger body of peaceful protestors.
However, not to make too much of a big deal out of this, but take a look at the video of that event. About 50 seconds in, Tobin says "that guy just hit me," indicating someone on his left. It's hard to see what's happening, but the old guy in red is holding up a sign with his his right hand. You can't see the arms of the bearded guy in the brown cap. But neither one of those guys moves his torso in any way consistent with throwing a punch at anybody.
What you can see, at about 44 seconds, is the old guy in the Santa cap attempt to place a sign in front of the camera. He gets pushed away, then apparently taps Tobin on the shoulder in response, after which he is pulled away by a couple of other protestors. By the next day, this was being called an "unwanted touching."
As far as I'm concerned, right-wingers are within their rights to complain about this even without the unwanted touch. And complain they will, being generally averse to removing the plank. Apparently this latest incident is of a pattern with the hate-fest at the Wellstone funeral, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
So all right then. I denounce the Socialist International for sending out shoulder-tapping goons and phony racists. After all, our friends on the right would never intentionally disrupt our public events. Would they?